05/28/2011 5:47PM

Golden Gate spill injures Couton; out 8-12 weeks


Jockey Julien Couton, initially reported as suffering only back bruises in a Friday spill at Golden Gate Fields, will miss eight to 12 weeks with compression fractures to the seventh and eighth thoracic vertebrae, track physician Dr. David Seftel reported Saturday.

“A reread of his CAT scan revealed the fractures,” said Seftel, who said there was no evidence of any spinal cord impairment.

Couton spent Friday night in intensive care at Highland Hospital in Oakland for observation and is expected to remain hospitalized for another day or two as doctors monitor his condition.

Couton was injured when his mount, Nassau Gold, fell on the far turn during Friday’s fifth race. The 5-year-old gelding died on the track.